Creamy cheese spinach sauce with pasta

I adore baby spinach. It's cute, taste good, looks innocent, and you can put it anywhere and some people won't notice ( I'm doing the sneaky look now).

I want to clean out a bit the pantry and frigde by using up what I have.
I had spinach leftover after minestrone soup to which at the end you can add spinach for more fiber and vitamins. And I had heavy cream, cream cheese and some pasta I had no idea I bought. How did that happen?

I'll let you in on I little secret of mine. Are you ready? " This is a heavy dish, so don't serve dessert or more cheese afterwards, or at least give it an hour to set in or you will have nightmares".

But as everything I post, it's yum yummylicious.

Type of dish: pasta, main
Cost: medium
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 2 hungry, 4 less hungry people.
Time: 25min
Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 20 min

You shall need oh so much:
cutting board, skarp knife, spatula, frying pan, medium saucepan with lid, collander, cup, plates.

  • 100-200gr cream cheese ( the hochland type)
  • half a packet of fresh baby spinach, washed
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of milk ( to thin out the sauce)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 vegetable stock cube or 1 glass of broth.
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 chilli pepper, minced
  • fresh ground pepper
  • optional: bacon cubes or pancetta cubed, a handfull
  • 1 onion, diced
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pasta of your choice
If you don't know what to do, read this:
Heat water in saucepan with lid on. When it boils, add a pinch of salt and add as much pasta as you need. For example, when using small pasta like for mac n' cheese, just add one bowl of pasta. That's enough for 2 people. In the meanwhile, in a large frying pan heat on medium high some oil, add the onion, garlic, chilli and bacon. Fry until the bacon is cooked. Take the pan off the heat for a second, pour in the liquids and add the cream, cheese and stock. Use your spatula to smash a bit the cream cheese so it dissolves faster. Stir constantly, otherwise your cheese may bubble over the pan or dry out. We don't want that. Add by a handfull the spinach, stirring it in the hot sauce so it wilts and makes more space for ther next handfull. When you have incorporated as much spinach as you need, stir, remove from heat and serve over pasta. If the sauce is too thick, before serving, add a glass of milk and mix to thin it out.
If you can't have pasta, but for some reason you can have cheese, serve this over broiled salmon.


Asian chicken with cold noodles

This is really good to eat, looks really hard to make and has that "wow" factor because you had to julienne those carrots to perfection:)
But it's very good, and if you're not a fan of chicken, use tofu instead.
So prepare yourself and your guests to be suprised and delighted. And if they're not, tell them gently to get out:)

Type of dish: main
Cost: medium
Difficulty: medium
Serves: 4
Time: 45 min
Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 15 min

You'll need:
a frying pan, blender, 4 small bowls, 1 large serving bowl, tongs, salad spoons, sharp knife, cutting board, paper towels, kettle, large bowl, strainer, spoon,


Dipping sauce ( make this first):
  • 6 tbsp fish sauce
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • juice from half a lime
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small thai chiles thinly sliced with seeds, or 1 large red chilli with seeds ( you want it hot) 
Peanut sauce:
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp unsalted peanut butter
  • thumb sized ginger piece, peeled and sliced coarsly
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
Chicken salad:
  • 2 chicken breasts, cleaned and diced
  • 1 package rice noodles
  • 1 medium cucumber, deseeded and cut in half, and in diagonal slices
  • 2 medium carrots, julienned
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 handful of soy sprouts
  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • handful of fresh mint  and basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, coarsly chopped
  • 4 limes, cut in wedges for serving
 First of all, make the dipping sauce by mixing all the ingredients, until the sugar dissolves, then pop it in the fridge for at least 15 min to combine the tastes better.
Make the peanut dressing by blending all the ingredients to a smooth paste, the thickness of cream. put in 2 small bowls.
Marinate your chicken by stirring together half of the dipping sauce and half of one bowl of the peanut sauce, in a medium bowl, with the chicken cubes, for 15 min at least.

Make the noodles according to package, cool them under cold water and drain, set aside. Heat your frying pan on high heat and fry the chicken, marinade and all, for max 6 min, until the chicken is cooked throughout. During the frying process, wash the marinating bowl and put the drained cold noodles in it, add the veggies, then the chicken. Pour in a few tablespoons of the dipping sauce and peanut sauce, and mix, top with the chopped hearbs and crushed peanuts. Serve with the limes and sauces for individual use and enjoy!

Or, to make it fancy and give your guests a feeling of control what's going on, serve everything seperatly with bowl for the guest to help themselves.
Does this even make sense?


Tiramisu misu su

Again, cravings; again, look in the fridge for inspiration.
And I have a cupboard that's dedicated to sweet stuff, like chocolote, biscuits, jams, nuts and Nutella.
And I did have mascarpone ( thank heavens!), and ladyfingers (where did they come from, I have no idea, and I'm the one doing the shopping), and vanilla extract and fresh brewed coffee (posh italian:P).

Besides, it's a really great dessert to make when you get those cravings, as you get to lick the bowl, and later on, after it cools, it always looks impressive.
And you can add booze to the coffee, but it's good without Amaretto, and I couldn't find my trusty old bottle which I brought from Prague, like, zillions of years ago. So maybe it's good I lost that bottle. I guess.
This recipe makes a double layer tiramisu, but if you want to make it higher, go for it.
Instead of using ladyfingers for this recipe, you can make sponge cake and use that instead for a more delicate version. It's good to use sponge cake when making this in shot glasses (just cut out the size with the glass and push it in, the rest is the same) for a cocktail party or smorgasbord.

Type of dish: dessert
Cost: cheap (if you get mascarpone cheap, it's still a cheap dish)
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 2-4
Time:  10min
Prep time: 5min
Cooling time: 1h at least.

You'll need:
A rectangular dish at least 3 cm deep, a whisk, a medium bowl, spatula or spoon, a bowl, grater, cling foil or tin foil to cover

  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 muscovado sugar (smell it- gorgeous!) or any sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 packet ladyfingers
  • 1 cup fresh brewed coffee
  • cocoa to sift over layers
  • 1/5 bar of chocolate for topping

What you're gonna do:
In the medium bowl, plop in the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and egg. Whisk together to a cream.
In the other bowl pour in the coffee for dipping in the ladyfingers, unless you're using sponge cake, then don't bother with the bowl., a spoon is good. Put a finger in the coffee, then in the dish, until you have the bottom of the dish covered (doesn't have to be super - duper covered). Using the spatula, spread over the first layer about 1/3-1/2 of the mascarpone (eyeball it, as you'll need a bit more for the topping than on the bottom), and spread out evenly over the ladyfingers. Then sift over some cocoa and grate some chocolate (for "extra" flavour), and do the second layer the same way. When you put the second layer of mascarpone, smooth it out nicely with with spatula, and give the top a double sifting of cocoa and chocolate.  Cover with foil or film, and pop in the frigde for the flavours to intertwine like twilight characters.

You can serve even an hour after cooling time, but it's best the next day. Although I do think you may eat it the same day because it's just so good:)

    Sponge cake- basic easy recipe

    This is a great recipe for sponge cake that can be used later for roll-up cakes, as the base for tiramisu, or to use for a layered cake.

    You will use a lot of eggs, especially whites, so plan ahead a recipe with the yolks so they don't go to waste ( I forget if I don't use them right away).

    Type of dish: dessert, cake
    Cost: cheap
    Difficulty: easy
    Time: 50 min
    Prep time: 10 min
    Baking time: 30-40 min
    Oven temp:  180C

    You'll need:
    a mixer, a large mixing bowl, a baking tray ( for flat cake), or a round cake tin, spatula, teaspoon, bowl,

    • 1 cup flour, sifted
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 6 eggs
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tbsp breadcrumbs or flour
    • 1 tbsp oil

    Preheat the oven. Smear the oil in the baking tray and sprinkle flour or breadcrumbs JUST over the bottom of the tray. Separate the yolks, leaving the egg whites in the large bowl, and the yolks in the small one. Start beating the whites so they form peaks, adding the sugar bit by bit until you have it all incorporated with the whites. When you've beaten the whites real bad, add one by one the yolks to the whites, so every time the colour comes out straw- like. We want the cake to be as fluffy as possible, so make large movements with your beater, always in one direction ( if you go every way, you will beat out the air that we are trying to beat in the eggs), counter-clock wise. Now, add the flour and baking powder, gentlyfolding it  in with a spatula- make 8-like moves with your spatula to get the flour in, but not the air out.
    Pour out the batter into the baking tray, spread evenly with the spatula and put in the oven to bake for 30 to 40 min. Use a toothpick to check if the cake is done. ( you put a toothpick in the cake, then remove it- if there is sour dough sticking to the toothpick, it's not done yet. If the pick comes out clean, it's ready)
    When it's done, don't take it out of the oven yet- turn off the oven and leave the oven doors open and the cake inside until cools.

    Pasta somewhat Aglio Olio

    No pics available yet, but I did make this, was suprised with the flavour and yes, it' fast and easy to make.
    Have some parmesan  on hand so if you feel that your pasta is way too spicy for you, add some grated cheese on top to make life a bit better:)

    I wasn't saying, but this time we where with Julia walking around town thinking already about late lunch on a saturday, and we decided to give it a go at home.
    We are the one you talk to when you diet or want to diet. "Oh yeah, sure, I hate chocolate, I won't eat pasta because I'll gain 20000000kg, but what I really want right now is spaghetti Aglio Olio."
    But I want chili peppers just because I like them and I had everything at home. Except for spaghetti. So we had taggliatele.
    I know. Totaly badass.

    What you do? What do we need? Where do we go? Where do you go?

    Type of dish: main, pasta
    Difficulty: easy
    Cost: cheap
    Serves: 2
    Time: 15 min
    Prep time: 5 min
    Cooking time: 10min

    You shall need:
    cutting board, sharp knife, large frying pan, medium saucepan with lid, spatula, grater, 2 plates

    • pasta for 2, of your choice, but stringy types are best for this sauce
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • half a chilli pepper, minced
    • coarse sea salt
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • optional: a few halved cherry or grape tomatoes.
    • parmesan to grate
     This is such an awesome easy recipe.
    Heat water with lid on in the saucepan. When it boils, add a pinch of salt and add the pasta. Cook according to package time.
    When you boil the pasta, heat on medium high heat the pan, when still warming up, add the garlic, chili, a large drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. When the garlic and chilli starts smelling really intense, open a window, add the tomatoes if you have them, and now your pasta should be already cooked and drained. Add it to the pan and swish around so every strand is coated in oil. Turn the heat off and serve on plates. Grate some cheese on top for some mildness and get on with it! Serve!


    Gnocchi with a simple sauce

    I like gnocchi. They are similar to polish Kopytka, except you make them with less flour, cook them shorter, but they are still de-li-cious.
    Man, I made some today and even though I ate a whole bowl, I could still eat more of those fluffy delicate clouds of potato mash.
    Yes, potato mash. Made mashed potatoes yesterday? Great, set aside a bowl of the mashies, they're gonna make great gnocchi.
    Look at them:

    So, what do you need to know about gnocchi? They are not that hard to make, you can skip the fork mark, you can freeze some non cooked gnocchi, you can add fresh or dried herbs to the potato mix for extra taste,  you can add some frozen spinach for colour. I even added grated parmeggiano and butter, because I was making mashed potatoes the day earlier. I added eggs, which you can omit, but try them with eggs and without.
    To tell the truth, this is poor food made fancy. But it's got everything I like in it, so I really don't care.

    Let's get it cracking.

    Type of dish: pasta, main
    Cost: cheap
    Difficulty: easy
    Serves: 2
    Time: 25 min
    Preparation time: 15 min
    Cooking time: 10 min

    You'll need:
    cutting board, fork, saucepan, frying pan, spoon, spatula, sharp knife, slotted spoon, plate for serving, medium mixing bowl,

     For the sauce:
    • 5 slices cured bacon or pancetta, diced or cubed
    • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 a small chili pepper, sliced, diced ( optional)
    • 1 pinch dried basil /or 10 leaves fresh
    • shaved parmesan cheese
    • olive oil
    • 1 tsp butter
    For the gnocchi:
    • around 300gram mashed potatoes
    • 1 egg and 1 yolk
    • 40 gr parmesan grated
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 2 tbsp butter
    •  1/4 cup flour (have some extra for cutting)
     Heat up your frying pan on high heat, add some olive oil, when hot add the onion, garlic and chili and fry up until very fragrant ( your eyes might sting), add the bacon/pancetta,  after 2-3 minutes, add the tomatoes. At this point, lower the heat to medium, and stir avery now and then.
    Heat up water in the saucepan on medium with a lid on. This won't take long, and neither will making the gnocchi.
    In the mixing bowl, add together all the gnocchi ingredients,and mix with your hand until you have a small ball of not that sticky dough. It will be sticky, but fluffy- this means they'll be fluffy.
    Tear the dough in 4 pieces, sift some flour on your working place, and gently roll out the dougn in long ropes but thick as your thumb. Sift more flour over them and using a fork, take off gnocchi sized pieces ( the length of a long fingernail? ) and press the tings of the fork over to make those fancy marks which are supposed to make the gnocchi hold sauce better.
    When your water is boiling, add a tsp of salt, stir and using the slotted spoon, gently put in max 20 gnocchi at once. They will fall to the bottom of the pan, so stirr around so they don't stick together. They will emerge in a minute, so remove them then to a plate, or, in the sauce in the frying pan.
    Cook how many you need, toss the ready ones with the sauce and serve with shavings of parmesan cheese and a sprinklung of fresh chopped basil for extra colour.
    BEWARE: this is a spicy sauce, so remove the chili from the ingredients for the sauce if you can't stomache this.


    Micro, tiny, helpful giveaway

    Okay, so it's been over a year this blog has been up, there have been certain important changes, and it's a lot of fun to write this blog. I may bore you guys with some weird details from my life, and since you cope with it by reading, I want to thank you for that.
    And, because I'm beginning to feel the christmas spirit and stuff ( it's the creepy Santa Claus in shops), I got a little gift for one of my lucky readers:)

    You should all know by now, that I post a lot  of recipes telling you to chop your stuff up. Chopping, cutting, mincing and in general, using a sharp knife and cutting board. And it happens to the best of us- you cut a finger or a nail.

    So when I saw this baby, I knew where I should write about it and give it to someone as needing as myself.

    So, for the first giveaway I have ever done in my life, here's what you have to do:

    • write in the comment section why should you win this finger guard and add your email addres
    • share this giveaway on your own Facebook/blog/twitter page 
    • and finally, go over to the Figs & Rosemary facebook page and hit "like" if you haven't done it yet!

    Please leave a comment below for each entry and I will choose the lucky winner using a random generator... If you have already done these things before you can still enter, just say that in the comments below:)
    Oh, adn this is not a sponsored giveaway, I just feel like a giveaway. Also, this is for everybody, worldwide, so I will send this anywhere in the world!
    The name of the winner will be published here on Tuesday 27th November so please check back then...
    Good luck everyone and thanks so much for reading! ( even you spam people :P)

    Edit: And the lucky woohooo winner is Jenny English. Congrats! 

    Pink Lemonade

    There is something really appealing to me about pink lemonade. I sometimes see on bogs or pictures a bottle of pink or "rose" lemonade, that looks so nice, bubbly ( for some weird reason which I don't quite understand), summery, and fun. It also looks really sweet  and girly and it makes me want to giggle and skip around ( I sometimes do that, it burns more calories and is MUCH more fun than walking).

    I saw the pink lemonade or whateva it was, in a shop and fainted when I saw the price. I mean, ok, the botttle looks nice, fancy fonts and stuff, but seriously?
    And because I'm no millionaire and because it's fun to be me, I made it. Nailed it, in a sing- song voice.
    And you will too.

    And I made the pics extra big, because, it's yucky outside and you and I need a reminder that it's not always that way. So here you go, a nice view of my windowsill.

    How do you make it, you might ask? Well, when you make it, you can control the pinkness:) Add more or less raspberries, or blackberries, mush them with a spoon or fork, add some quartered lemons, some mint leaves, and to sweeten it you can use a spoon or two of honey, or brown sugar, just mix it around. I also add juice from 1 lemon to make the lemonade actually have a taste of lemons. You can also try adding a bit of rose water, if you have it, or if you don't, don't worry. During the summer, if you have a rose plant in your garden and you vouch for the plant, add some clean rose petals for that extra detail.
    Pour this stuff in a bottle to which you have a cork or cap, and swish it around, and pour in some sparkling water or still water. Naughty grown-up version- instead of water, add some crisp white wine. And it's ready!
    Pack up for a picnic, or serve at a lunch/ dinner table. Great mood booster!


    Meet The Brownies

    I don't make cakes. I eat  too much of them, and they get in my way later on, when I'm trying to fit in a dress or shirt (stupid white shirts).
    But I decided to make some moredesserts, well, because I wanted to. Ha!

    And I'm on the chocolate wagon, it's something irresistible, and I don't understand why.
    Anyway, I belive in weird stuff, and I can swear on this brownie, which recipe is simple, luscious and you really have to remind yourself you're just going to have two pieces, not half  the tray. Although that really isn't so hard. Cause, you know, brownies, and this specific brownie came out really thin, so 2 pieces was actually like half a normal one ;)

    It's nice to make it for a party, or friends or family coming over, or take to work. Make a glaze topping for it, like melt salty caramels ond pour it all over...
    Or just melt half a chocolate bar and pour over. Or sift dark cocoa over.. Or just confectioners sugar...
    Still delicous...

    Type of dish: dessert, cake
    Cost: cheap
    Difficulty: easy
    Time: 45 min
    Preparation time: 15 min
    Baking time: 30 min
    Oven temp: 180C

    You'll need:
    a small saucepan, a whisk, a bowl,  a spoon, a cup, a medium baking tray ( the larger tray you use, the thinner the cake is), tin foil,

    • 6 tbsp butter
    •  3/4 cup sugar
    • 200 gr dark chocolate bars, broken to pieces
    • 1/4 cup plain flour
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 2 eggs room temp 

    Preheat your oven, and line your baking tray with foil. In the saucepan, on medium heat, melt the butter and chocolate and stir to prevent burning. Add a bit of the sugar, spoon by spoon so it melts in.
    Crack the eggs in a bowl and lightly beat them so they mix a bit. When you have the butter mix melted and the sugar in all incorporated, turn off the heat, add the salt, vanilla and mix. Then, add half of the eggs, and stir  until the mixture turns really glossy, then add the other part and go on and add the flour all at once, and whisk the mixture vigoriously for 1 min. I hate this part, but don't skip it. After 1 min, pour the mixture in the baking tray and pop in the oven for 30 min. No more, no less is needed.
    Remove the cake, and let it cool. If you want your brownies to be extra moist, put a slive of bread on the top while it's cooling down. The bread goes rock hard and the cake retains it's moisture.
    After that, cut your brownies in squares, and top with whatever you want.
    They are seriously soooo goood...


    Baked crusty salmon with fresh dill sauce

    I like salmon. At least I'm beggining to like it. I'm not big on fish. But anything that has a crispy crust, without a smelly interior, plus a great tasting sauce like a fresh dill sauce makes my day. Or evening. I prepared this with nice looking rice with peas and cumin seeds, but finally it would work better with plain rice, as the cumin is very fragrant and dominated the salmon. ( what?!)
    When you buy ready fillet salmon, try to get the wider fillets. The smaller ones, which are more traingular in shape, are from the tail section of the fish, and have tougher meat. The wider, middle section is much more tender.

    The salad is a nice addition to the salmon, and it very easy to make, just slice diagonally the cucumber with the skin on, add some fresh chopped dill and a bit of red bell pepper for color, and season with S&P plus some lemon juice with olive oil. Et voila!
    PS. if you make this for a romantic dinner, skip the garlic.

    Now get the salmon and sauce crackin'

    Type of dish: main
    Cost: medium
    Difficulty: easy
    Time: 40-50 min
    Serves: 2
    Preparation time: 15min
    Baking Time: 20-30 min
    Oven temp: 190C
    You'll need:
    a blender, paper towels, tablespoon, cutting board, sharp knife,baking dish for the salmon, tin foil,  gravy boat, small laddle, plates to serve
    For the sauce:
    • fresh dill
    • 1 cup natural sugar free yoghurt
    • 1 tbsp mayonaise
    • 2 tbsp sour cream
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1 squeeze lemon juice
    • 1 tbsp pepper 
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tbsp dried or fresh parsley
    • 1 tbsp dried oregano
    For the salmon:
    • 1 salmon fillet
    • S&P
    • Olive oil
    • Lemon slices
    Extremely hard to make. 
    Preheat your oven. Pour olive oil in the baking dish and spread it around. Wash your fillet in cold water, and pat dry with paper towels and put in the baking tray skin side down. Rub a bit of oil on top of the fish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay enough lemon slices on top to fairly cover it up. Cover with tin foil and pop in the oven for 20 min with the foil on, then take off the foil and remove the lemons and bake for 5 min more. Turn on the broiler for the last 5 minutes for a nice crispy crust.
    Fish is done. You can cut it in half and serve. If the skin sticks to the baking dish, don't worry, you weren't going to eat it anyway.
    Put all the ingredients in the blender and pulse until you have a nice green sauce with specs of dill. Pour in a gravy boat and keep in fridge until fish is ready.
    How to serve:
    If serving fish with rice, place fillet gently over bed of rice or next to it, and pour some dill sauce over it.

    Addtional info:
    The sauce is great as a dip sauce for croutons or pita.


    Chicken Parmesan

    There are lovely days, when you have a great day outdoors, you eat brunch or lunch or whatever anywhere but home, and then you come bach to the formentioned home to discover that your fridge is more than partialy empty and there is a very hungry person you need to feed in aproximatly 30 minutes or they will go off like a time bomb. And I'm not talking about myself, even though that does happen to me ( I'm like a man- no food- grumpy), I'm talking about my better half ( he is better).
    So, to be savvy and smart and prepared for the unpreparable, I freeze, as I probably have mentioned before. In ziploc baggies and in small portions, so it's easy and quick to defrost a sad chicken cutlet left behind in the depths of the freezer, cold to death (?), waiting to be defrosted in a bath of water.

    Type of dish: main
    Cost: cheap
    Difficulty: easy
    Serves: 1
    Time: 15 min
    Preparation time: 3 min
    Cooking time: 10 min

    You'll need:
    cutting board, sharp knife, spatula or tongs, a medium frying pan, plate

    • 1 chicken cutlet, fresh or defrosted, cut off any white bits
    • fresh grated parmesan cheese
    • S&P
    • olive oil 
    • 1 tsp butter
    Heat up your frying pan on medium high, and when it's hot, but not omg hot, add the olive oil, then the butter and swirl around  so the butter doesn't brown immeadiatly.  Season your chicken on both sides, and sprinkle over both side. Put gently in the pan, to prevent any cheese falling off the cutlet. When golden on one side, turn to the other. This should take in general around 6-10 min.
    Remove form heat and serve.

    For a  fast dish serve with easy couscous.
    Ps. This works well even with the ready grated cheese.


    Easy cheese soup recipe

    I hate autumn. I want to eat more then, and it's usually the stuff I shouldn't, being lactose intolerant. But there I go, from one cheese to another, like a butterfly.
    It's useless.

    So, having in mind a cheese soup from a place not far from our previous apartment, which, unfortunatly, closed down (WHY?), that  served this soup with ham and mind blowing croutons, I wanted this soup.
    So I made it.
    Suprise suprise- it's easy to make. I swear. By the moon and the stars in the sky... I'll be there..
    Name that tune.

    Anyways, it's not complicated, I made it from leftover chicken soup for T ( he had a cold).
    So I'm going ahead  and thinking you have your chicken soup, or chicken broth, or you make it with stock cubes and all.:) Love you too.

    Type of dish: soup, main
    Cost: cheap
    Difficulty: easy
    Serves: 2
    Time: 20 min
    Preparation time: 5 min
    Coking time: 15min

    You'll need:
    a medium saucepan with lid, veggie peeler, cutting board, sharp knife, hand blender, laddle, spoon, bowls to serve

    • 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube or 1,5 l broth
    • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
    • 2 cream cheeses ( hochland flavours: ham and creamy)
    • 4 frankfurter sausages
    • 1 bowl croutons
    • pinch of salt
    • fresh pepper
    • optional: fresh chopped parsley for garnish

    How to you do:
    Heat up your broth/stock in the saucepan, add the carrot and creamcheese, crumbled. Mix well. Put in the sausages. Plop the lid on, make sure the heat is medium, and go away. Clean up or something for 15 min, just checking if it's not overboiling- if it is, turn down the heat a notch.
    After 15 min, prep your blender, remove the pan from heat, remove the sausages and put them on the cutting board to cut in bite-sized pieces . Blend your soup until you see no more carrots and the soup now has a pleasent orangish- yellow color. Taste and season if you need to.
    Divide the sausage in two or more bowls, and pour the soup over. Serve with a side bowl of croutons.

    Addtional info: This seems like a hearty soup, but in fact, it isn't. So prepare some salad or pasta course later.


    Tender pork sirloin in red wine vinegar marinade

    I cruise on the internet, I don't surf. I had a pork sirloin in the fridge, that I was going to make anyway with mashed potatoes and peas. For an uncomplicated dinner, but I wanted something better. And I came across the Pork Mommy, who made this with pan sauce. I dodn't bother with the pan sauce, although I could, but mainly I went with the recipe becuase T said he would be gone longer and dinner time was moved. So I had more time to do fun stuff, like pour in random liquids, plop in the meat and forget about it for a few hours.

    The marinade is really vinegarrry- and your eyes may burn and pop out of your sockets, so I halved the quantities, as I was using only half of the sirloin anyway.
    But it makes the meat really tender ( probably the lemon juice), and half cooked before you start frying it up. And it does make a delicous sauce, especially if you ignore either recipe and go for adding cream to the marinade for a sauce.

    Suprise, it's easy.
    Make his for saturday dinner, making the marinade in the morning.

    Type of dish: main, meat
    Cost: medium
    Difficulty: easy
    Serves: 2
    Time: 45 min
    Preparation time: 10 min
    Frying time: 6 min
    Baking time: 30-40 min
    Oven temp: 180C

    You will need:
    cutting board, sharp knife, tablespoon, paper towels, a medium bowl, a medium baking tray, tin foil, a frying pan, tongs, cup

    • 1 pork sirloin
    • 1/4 cup oilve oil
    • 5 tbsp soy sauce
    • 5 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • juice from 1/2 a lemon
    • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
    • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
    • 2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
    • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

    Wash your sirloin, and cut off the silverish pieces so your diners won't make weird faces while eating. Pat it dry with paper towels and cut into medallions, 3-4 cm thick for faster cooking and more flavour.
    Mix all other ingredients in a bowl, it'll have a nice lot of oily pearls on the surface, put your medallions in the marinade and set aside. Come back after an hour to turn the meat in the marinade if the liquid level is lower then the meat.
    Give it best 2-3 hours to marinate, and once it's done, preheat your oven, and heat up a frying pan on high heat. Get the pan really hot before you put your meat on it- we want to seal the moist inside the meat so when we bake it, the meat doesn't dry out. And becuase you have medallions, it's easier to fry than a whole sirloin, trust me.
    Fry on each side 3-4 mins, pop back in the marinade, cover with tin foil, shiny side down and put in the oven for at least 30 min.
    During this time you can either cook and mash your own potatoes or use ready made puree or whatever else you want to serve this with. Rice is a nice option too.
    Before serving, you can reduce the remaining marinade using the frying pan and add during this process, add a knob of butter for a richer flavour or go all the way by mixing it with 2 tbsp of cream.
    Pour over the medallions and serve.

    Drunk chocolate mousse (or not)

    Chocolate mousse by itself is really good. But add a bit of strong coffee and Grand Marnier liquor and it will rock your world. Just don't drink this at night, because you will have problems falling asleep. Tested by me. But it's gorgeous! And stolen from my personal idol Pioneer Woman. Love you Ree!

    And it's ridiculously easy to make. Like, I was shocked.
    I loove it. It's creamy, chocolaty like the best truffles, sweet, smells of chocolate coffee with a liqour kick to it. If you don't have Grand Marnier, it's ok, just add a spoon of vanilla extract  for more flavour.

    And  there is a ton of ways  to serve- got some cute mason jars- fill 'em halfway up. Use some glases, wineglasses, cups, teacups, teeny bowls or those micro jars from hotel jams. Anything works. And it looks so pretty under a cover of whipped cream:)

    Type of dish: dessert
    Difficulty: easy
    Cost: cheap/medium
    Time: 2h 10min.
    Preparation time: 10 min
    Cooling time: 2 h

    You'll need:
    A blender with the top to take off and pour stuff in, a cup, 4-6 jars, glassess, spoon, medium bowl, mixer


    • 2 eggs, whole cracked
    • 1,5 dark chocolate bars, crushed or crumbled into fairly small pieces
    • 3 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup strong coffee ( take 1/2 tbsp instant coffee with very very hot water)
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream for whipping

    Put the chocolate inb the blender, crack in the eggs and add 1 tbsp of sugar. Add the Liqour or vanilla and blend- pulse until the chocolate is fairly well processed. Boil your water for the coffee, and when you have it ready, turn the bleander on again on low, and pour in the coffee in a slow stream. Then turn on hign speed again for a minute and then turn off completely.
    Prepar your glasses or jars in a row, and pour in the chocolate mixture, trying to make them all even   ( or not :P ) . Wait for them to cool down a bit before putting them in the frigde.
    In the bowl, add the cream and remaining sugar and beat for a few minutes untill stiff peaks form. Cover up and put in fridge for later garnishing.
    After 1-2 hour, the mousse will look like a sponge from the top. Note- if you happen to have some liquid formed at the bottom, use a thin knife to slide in by the side, then turn over a sink so the liquid flows out. This may happen if you use more coffee.

    Before serving, garnish with the whipped cream and maybe a sliver of orange peel, or fresh grated chocolate or cocoa.
    For a festive feel, sprinkle with cinnamon


    Kitchen essentials: canned and jar-ed food

    All the cans you need in the world :)

    • chickpeas
    • chopped tomatoes
    • whole tomatoes
    • red beans
    • corn
    • green peas
    • tuna, 
    • olives
    • coconut milk
    • tomato puree
    • tomato paste
    • gherkins
    • duck ( for those special occasions)
    • peaches
    • pineapple
    • cherries
    • nutella
    • baked bell peppers
    • jalapenos
    • asparagus ( for tarts, or salads)
    • coffee ground ( Illy coffee is supposed to be the best)

    Kitchen essential: tools

    Stuff you should have in your kitchen if you plan on cooking on a daily basis.

    • veggie peeler
    • pestle and mortar ( get this if you really are going to cook a lot of curries)
    • tongs
    • set of 3 knives
    • kettle
    • baking tray ( I use the one from my oven, but I also have 2 smaller ones for cakes or bread)
    • cooling rack ( can use the rack in your oven)
    • baking dish- 2 sizes medium and large
    • casserole dish (oval)
    • blender, or hand mixer with all the attachements (- mine is a Bosch, I've had it for 8 years, I'm still happy)
    • a big pot with lid
    • a medium pot with lid
    • a small saucepan with lid
    • Frying pans- 3 sizes
    • grill pan ( for those cute grill marks and barbecue like food)
    • grater or a mandolin
    • Set of 3 or more nesting bowls
    • Chopping board
    • scale
    • sieve and collander
    • measuring cup/jug
    • measuring spoon ( but usually a tablespoon and teaspoon will be perfect)
    • wooden spatula
    • wooden spoon
    • set of salad spoons
    • whisk
    • slotted spoon
    • plastic spatula
    • can opener
    • garlic crusher
    • bottle opener and corkscrew :)
    • laddle
    • potato masher
    • rolling pin ( although for a few years I managed with a wine bottle- very smart of me)
    • silpat or any other silicon mat for baking
    • deep fry skimmer ( I don't know what I would do withour it)
    • tin foil
    • cling wrap
    • parchement paper
    • salad spinner ( or you can go outside with the salad wrapped in a clean cloth and swing it aroynd your head for a minute. Works too)
    • toaster
    • oven
    • clean kitchen cloths

    Kitchen essentials: dry goods, liquids and herbs

    This is a list of dry goods you should have in your kitchen to make like a ton of things ;)

    You can buy this over time, but the sauces for asian cuisine are expensive, so it's good to look around for some good deals on asian- themed weeks at store.
    And they last a long time.

    Dried goods:
    • pasta ( penne, spaghetti, tagliatelle, lasagne)
    • glass noodles 
    • basmati rice
    • plain white rice
    • risotto rice ( arborio)
    • couscous
    • lentils
    • breadcrumbs
    • plain flour
    • sugar
    • confectioners sugar
    • cocoa powder
    • dried yeast
    • rolled oats
    • baking powder
    • baking soda
    • vanilla sugar
    • palm sugar
     Liquids and sauces:
    • olive oil, regular and extra virgin
    • vegetable oil ( palm oil, sesame oil,  or sunflower oil)
    • rice vinegar
    • white vinegar
    • red wine vinegar
    • balsamic vinegar from Modena
    • honey
    • vanilla essence
    • soy sauce ( light or dark)
    • worcestershire sauce
    • fish sauce
    • ketchup
    • mustard dijon
    • mayonaise
    • lime juice ( when it's hard to get limes, this does the trick, but it's best to buy a ton of limes and freeze the juice)
    • chili sauce
    • tabasco/habanero sauce ( depends how far you can go without burning)
    Get a shoe box and store your herbs in it for less mess:)

    Stock cubes:
    • chicken stock
    • beef stock
    • vegetable stock
    • fish stock

    Basic Spices:
    • sea salt ( coarse and regular)
    • table salt
    • black pepper
    • cayenne pepper
    • lemon pepper
    • red pepper
    • green pepper
    • dried  red chili flakes
    • cinamon ( sticks and ground)
    • nutmeg (whole for grating)
    • oregano
    • basil
    • dried groung ginger
    • lemongrass
    • thyme
    • tarragon
    • marjoram
    • tumeric
    • coconut cream powder
    • sweet paprika
    • granulated garlic
    • parsley
    • dill
    • garlic salt
    • corainder seeds
    • mustard seeds
    • laurel/bay leaves
    • cumin seeds
    • curry powder

    Italian cabbage dumplings

    Cabbage dumplings are a polish tradition. You take a large, heavy cabbage, boil the hell out of it so it's finally soft, then you cut out some more hard, woody parts from the leaves, then you cool it, then you make the meat mixture, then you roll it, cook it again, make the sauce, and FINALY, EAT IT.
    It take so long that most polish women don't make them anymore, leaving this to their grandmas or mothers, or mother-in-law to make it in their spare time when they come over. But they are good.
    The problem is with the cabbage. AE came up with the delicate italian version, using, italian cabbage.
    It's really pretty, you basicaly do the same, but it does take less time, and mind/hand cramping effort. You don't need to be a superhero with this one, just remember, that the wrapping meat part is the most delicate thing to do. Wrap it too tight, and it'll fall apart. Wrap it not enough, it'll fall apart. They always fall apart if you don't do them good, man. But they still taste good. Man.
    Anyway, this is a weekend recipe for all you fellow people who start cooking at 11 pm because they finally feel like it:) Just cook the cabbage during the day.

    dumplings, cabbage, italian, figs, rosemary

    Ok, let's kill the cabbage.
    Type of dish: main
    Cost: cheap
    Difficulty: medium
    Serves: 4-6
    Time: 90 min
    Preparation time: 60 min
    Cooking time: 30 min

    You'll need: 
    cutting board, sharp knife, large bowl, spatula, tablespoon, slotted spoon, large, deep saucepan, toothpicks or those fancy silicon ties, colander a fork

    • 1 meidum sized italian cabbage ( the very wrinkly kind)
    • 1/2 kg ground pork
    • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or 1 small crusty old, dried out bun
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1 tbsp salt
    • 1 tbsp ground pepper
    • optional: 1/2 tsp curry powder
    • 1 cube vegetable stock
    • 1 tbsp olive oil

    Take your cabbage and lay it down, so you see the stalk part. Take a sharp knife and try to cut it out, as much as possible. Place the cabbage in the saucepan, stalk part down, and cover with water. Put a lid on it and put on stove with high heat. Once it boils, turn it down to medium low heat and leave the lid on. Tip: If your water is bubbling over the edge, means you used a too small pan. Cook this way for 30 min.
    In the meantime, prepare your meat filling. In the bowl, mix the ground meat, spices, milk, oil and bread/crumbs until it looks like a ugly pink paste. Done? Cover up and put it aside. You'll have more important things to do, than look at ugly meat pastes.
    Your cabbage is cooked, the time is right, pour out the water, , put the cabbage in the colander and pour cold water over it to chill it down. Let's call this, "chillax time". For the cabbage. Unfortunatly.
    Okay, cabbage chilled down, put the cabbage on the cutting board and have fun. start peeling off the leaves, trying to keep them in one piece. The first leaves, if they shred, don't worry, you won't be using them. The middle and tiny leaves are what we're going for.
     You should have at least 12 leaves intact, pure, cooked and whole. Check them to see if the stems are very stiff and thick. If they are, then using a knife of veggie peeler, gently cut it off, like slither it off.
    Don't cut it out completly.
    Now, clean your saucepan or get a smaller one, but wide. on the bottom, place the biggest leaves from the cabbage. The frist ones that shreded. Now, take a middle leaf, a spoon of the meat paste, ans put the blob of meat on the bottom of the leaf, where the stem is. Next, start gently byt firmly rolling it upwards, tucking in the sides, so you form a dumpling. Pin the top together with a toothpick or two, or use the ties, and put in the pot. Repeat with the rest and set aside. Now pour in water to cover the dumplings and add the stock cube. Put on medium heat with a lid on and cook for about 25-30 min.

    After that time, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and serve.

    Btw, best served with a easy fast tomato sauce made from: 3-4 tbsp tomatoe paste, lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar, S&P, 2 cups water, some 18% cream and mix it well in a small saucepan. Warm it, mix it, pour it over the dumplings. Add a blob of fresh cream for that extra oompf:)

    Additional info:
    You can add some leftover rice to the meat mixture to enrish it a bit, and you can freeze these babies for more future use.



    I'm really shocked. Seriously. How could you buy hoummus!?

    First of all, stop buying it. Even the Kosher kind is wacky compared to the stuff you can really easily make by yourself.

    All you need is a blender:)
    And love:)

    Let's do it!

    Type of dish: side, paste, dip
    Cost: cheap
    Difficulty: easy
    Serves: 4
    Time: 5 min!!!!
    Preparation time: 5 min

    You'll need:
    a knife, a can opener, a hand blender or blender, a medium sized bowl, spoon, teaspoon

    • 1 can chickpeas, drained
    • 1 garlic clove ( add more and other's will know  you've had hoummus)
    • 1 tsp dijon mustard
    • juice from one lemon
    • olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • optional: cayenne pepper

    In your blender, or bowl (if you only have a hand blender), put in the chickpeas, mustard, garlic clove, 1/3 of the lemon juice, a pinch of S&P and about 1/2 cup olive oil. Start blending. Check after 2 minutes to taste, add more salt, pepper, lemon juice or olive oil.  When you have a thick, even paste, you're done. Serve with warm pita bread or vegetable sticks.


    Additional information: To make red hoummus, add to the blender 1 or 2 dried tomatoes. And don't salt until you've tried it.
    You can also add tahini paste, which is made from sesame seeds, but why bother. You can drizzle more olive oil over the finished hoummus, for example, truffle oil, or spicy oils. Man, it's good. Experiment a bit to find what taste you like most. You can also add some pumpkin seeds to the finished paste.

    ps. You can use a tsp of tahini if you have it, but it's not really that nescessary. I live without it.


    The BLT Sandwich for the hungry

    There is something about the combined tastes of fried bacon, tomatoes, mayonaise and cruchy bread that will bring you to your knees whenever you'r totally hungry.
    Or you just need a sandwich.
    To me, BLT is the ULTIMATE sandwich. Sorry for the messy pictures.

    And it's so easy to make.
    I won't have you salivating here any longer, here's the recipe, get the products if you haven't got the yet, and go make yerself a good ol' BLT.
    BTW- my first BLT was at the Hilton Hotel :)  Very snazzy indeed, but I'm not a fan of toast bread.

    Type of dish: snack, lunch, sandwich
    Cost: cheap
    Difficulty: easy
    Serves: 1
    Time: 10 min
    Preparation time: 5 min
    Cooking time: 5 min

    You'll need:
    Cutting board, knife, frying pan, tongs or spatula, butter knife, plate

    • a hand- long piece of a baguette, split but not halved. Like a subway sub.
    • half a tomato, thinly sliced
    • 4-6 slices of bacon
    • 2-3 lettuce leaves, clean and dry
    • mayonaise
    • 1 garlic clove
    • S&P
    • optional: few thin slices of onion, leftover shredded chicken

    Do it, make it, how:
    Heat up your frying pan on medium high. Put in your bacon and fry until it gets smaller, more wrinkly but not golden brown or crispy brown, because it won't be pliable enough. When you get the bacon done, transfer it to your cutting board, and put on the pan your bread. We are going to toast it up a bit so it has a nice crunch. Gently press in the bread so it soaks up the grease from the bacon. Let it fry until golden and crunchy, then remove.
    Take the garlic clove, cut it in half and start rubbing it over the crusty bread. This will give it a great aroma. Next, spread some mayonaise over on side of the bread,  and if you have chicken meat, put it over the mayo. Now the tomato slices, use some S&P on them, then the bacon, and the lettuce. Fold the bread together and serve!

    Fluffy pancakes with maple syrup- the american breakfast

    I don't know how you think about it, but some days,you just wake up and dream about getting breakfast to bed, or that when you finally emerge from the bathroom, there's a plate of warm, good food waiting for you at the table with a cup of coffee just the way you like it. Now, this is a fantasy of mine, because it just doesn't work out, and usually on the weekends I sleep till noon, meaning that when I finally get up it's lunch time:/

    But I crave the pancakes with maple syrup and squares of butter on top. J'adore once in a while. While the most expensive part in this recipe is unfortunatly the syrup, it actually lasts a long time, so the cost drops, so I'm signing this recipe under medium cost, just if you were curious.
    And I'm resigning from writing the blog in polish because I have nobody to talk to now in english, so this is my only chance of being "heard"/"read".
    So, if you feel the love one morning for someone else than yourself, be a good person and make these simple, fluffy pancakes.
    PS. If you make too much, just pop them by two in small ziplocks to freeze. Unfreezing is a blip when you have a microwave ( JEALOUS!)

    Type of dish: breakfast, supper
    Cost: medium 
    Difficulty: easy
    Serves: 2-4
    Time: 20 min
    Preparation time: 5 min
    Frying time: 15 min

    You'll need:
    a frying pan, a spatula, a medium bowl, a whip, laddle, plate, strong will to not eat everything by yourself.

    • 1 1/2 cup flour, sifted or not
    • 3 1/3 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1 1/4 cup milk
    • 1 egg
    • 3 tbsp melted butter
    • maple syrup
    • small squares or big of butter

    How to:
    Heat up the pan, melt the butter if you didn't melt it before in the microwave. In the bowl, mix together the salt, flour, soda, sugar, make a small hole in the middle and pour in the egg, milk and butter. beat this up with your whip/beater so you don't have any clumps of flour floating around.
    Now, I know this is supposed to be ready in 20 min, but if you have the time, let the mixture rest for 10 min. This makes the milk poof up the flour and somehow, the pancakes are better. In that time you can make yourself a coffee, wake somebody up, clean up the floor or read a chapter in a book. Whatever. So, heat up your pan on hig heat ( I've got a fancy ceramic pan and I don't have to use grease anymore, but if you have a normal sticky  pan, grease it with a drop of oil or ghee ( clarified butter that doesn't burn so fast like regular butter). turn the heat to medium, pour in 3-4 pancakes( usually- 1 laddle of the mixture is enough for 1 pancake), when they go golden brown on the bottom, flip them and cook them to the same level. When done, transfer to plate, plop a butter square on top, drizle with the syrup. If you want to, you cxan garnish with some fresh berries- I had raspberries, but blueberries or thin slices of apricots or peaches works well too. Now, cut in with a fork and gobble up that yummy goodness!


    Minestrone soup- the good stuff

    Ok. I will confess. I hated thinking about minestrone soup. It was a memory of a taste of pure hell, along with a particularily bad memory of some breakfast oatmeal with grits, warm apple slices and cold bananas topped with a shitload of honey. Memories from childhood can be a tragic blocker for kids or grown ups, to eat regular food without the terror coming back in the form of brussel sprouts.  And while I think everybody may have a dislike or distaste for certain things, thanks to some shitty granny or any other stupid grown-up, who force-fed us with "healthy" food, I know how hard it is to overcome this fear later as a grown up. So, forgive me for writing a "healing" post:)

    I still haven't completely overcome my fear of certain foods, but I think I'm doing pretty well, considered the amount of trauma I had going on, for like, a long time.
    Minestrone soup always brings to mind those nice holiday trips to Bulgaria or Croatia, camping out by the sea, and cooking that god-awful soup out of a bag. It was REALLY  DISGUSTING.
    Whenever I'm in a store and I see this one on a shelf, I turn around and run. Looks quite weird. If you ever see somebody doing that in the ready-made soup aisle of a store, you just lost a chance to meet me:)
    But, as I'm a sucker for making things at home, making them easy, as you may have noticed, and I know I'm a badass, but I try to give things and people a second chance. Hence my trial with this soup.

    I'll tell you how to undo a terrible mind process like hating a specific thing. Food, of course, I'm not a shrink.
    Either you hate the whole dish, or you hate just a piece of it, like fish. In a fish main course. Then it's hard to undo it, but still managable. Start out with shrimps:)
    If you, or your loved one hates the whole dish, it's good to go through the ingredients. Like looking under the bed or checking the closet for monsters. You see there is nothing to be afraid of. Are you afraid of a can of tomatoes? Or a handful of pasta? Or, maybe you're terrified of broth? Baby spinach? Seriously, baby spinach can't hurt anybody. It's a baby, right? And it's cute. That helps.
    So, now we see that the soup/thing is not that scary, you're in control, you're an adult and you know your worth. You rule!
    Second option- you don't like broccoli? Oh, you poor thing, thank god we don't have to add it to absolutly everything:) Just take it out of the recipe and subsitute for something else. Green beans are usually stress-free. Hopefully.
    Life gets real easy, if somebody just took the time to tell us those things before.

    Ok, enough pschology for free. Time for a recipe!

    Type of dish: soup, main
    Cost: cheap
    Difficulty: easy
    Serves: 2-4
    Time: 15 min
    Preparation time: 5 min
    Cooking time: 10 min

    You'll need:
    a medium saucepan with lid, a teaspoon, a ladle, bowls

    • 1 can of diced tomatoes
    • 1 can chickpeas
    • 1 cups baby spinach
    • 1/2 a yellow bell pepper, diced
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 cube vegetable broth or chicken stock
    • 1 cup dry penne or rigatoni pasta
    • 1 tsp dried basil or 1 tbsp fresh chopped
    • 1 tsp garlic powder 
    • for garnish fresh shaved parmesan and a few basil leaves
    • optional- half a onion, thinly sliced, or a handfull of green beans
    • S&P
    • squeeze of lemon juice, pinch of sugar
    Drain the chickpeas, rinse them, drain again. Mix all the ingredients in the saucepan, apart from the spinach and S&P , and heat on high heat till it boils. Turn down the heat to medium low and cook covered for 10 min, until pasta is cooked. Add the spinach and mix so it wilts, then taste and season. Spoon in bowls and top with parmesan shavings and fresh basil leaves for extra flavour.

    This is nothing like the packet soup, and thank god for that!

    Additional info: You can serve this with croutons.